Note: This is easily the darkest, most angsty fic I've ever written. It's alternate history. While the characters are the same, their history is different. For example, Liz wasn't raped as a teen so she and Lucky never got together. It's also sorta songfic. I'm picking and choosing which lyrics fit but the songs are in order from the musical episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Once More With Feeling. I think Buffy's struggle to return from the dead somewhat parallels what Liz suffers in this fic. If you haven't watched what was one of the best hours ever on TV, do so now! Go on, head to Netflix and pull up Buffy Season 6. I'll wait…

Prologue: Going Through the Motions

Every single night
The same arrangement
I go out and fight the fight
Still I always feel
This strange estrangement
Nothing here is real, nothing here is right

Twenty-two year old Elizabeth Webber tossed the used napkins in the trash as she cleared another table. Kelly's was now closed and she should have been out of here at least twenty minutes ago. The high school soccer team had won the regional championship and chose to celebrate here. She didn't mind. What else was she going to do tonight? Emily was at the movies with Nik, Lucky was treating Sarah to dinner at the Grille, and Jason was…out of the question.

Just hoping no one knows
That I've been going through the motions
Walking through the part
Nothing seems to penetrate my...
Heart

She had vowed that she would not cry for Jason ever again. Her eyes didn't seem to be listening and the tears fell onto the table she had just wiped down. She swiped her cheeks angrily. Who spent their whole life with their first love anyway? It was fairy tale stuff. In the real world, ugly happened and you just had to deal with it. In her world, ugly meant shutting off her heart and letting Jason go.

Will I stay this way forever?
Sleepwalk through my life's endeavor?

She sank into the chair, taking deep breaths to get her emotions under control. She couldn't afford to feel. It would destroy her. If her friends found out, they would never look at her the same way again. If Jason found out, he would be gone from her life for good. At least now, he occasionally came for coffee and she could spend a few wistful minutes imagining a life where ugly didn't exist. Then he left and ugly's hold on her was restored.

Going through the motions
Losing all my drive
I can't even see
If this is really me
And I just wanna be...
Alive!

Ever since it happened, she felt like an alien in her own skin. There was a part of her longing to break out and reclaim the life she had before it. But then his words played through her mind again. The ghosts of his hands ran across her skin. The memory of his force weakened her. She was trapped in a nightmare he created and not even Jason could save her.